Meeting in Sofia: "Clean Energy for All Europeans" at the heart of EU's priorities

Meeting in Sofia: "Clean Energy for All Europeans" at the heart of EU's priorities
The "Clean Energy for All Europeans" package is fundamental to the European energy policy, Energy ministers of the EU member states agreed at the meeting in Sofia, as they evaluated the progress made in the negotiations on the legislative proposals.

"The 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' legislative package is fundamental to European energy policy", Bulgarian Energy Minister, Temenuzhka Petkova said. Petkova chaired the meeting, adding that "legislative decisions in this area also provide incentives and stability for investors in ensuring the security of Member States' energy systems".

Miguel Arias Canete, Commissioner for Energy and Climate Change, was the event's special guest. At the joint press conference he said  that "this is the moment to raise the ambition of our targets", adding that "we established our targets in October 2014, which were established according to the costs of the technologies at that time but since 2014 the cost of energy has dramatically been reduced, whether is wind power on-shore or off-shore, or solar panels or the cost of batteries".

The "Clean Energy for All Europeans" package includes legislative proposals divided into two subgroups.

The first consists of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Directives and the Governance of the Energy Union Regulation.

The second contains four legislative initiatives related to the electricity market design of which currently open for discussions is the Regulation on the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER).

The trialogues on the legislative proposals from the first subgroup were launched in February and the Presidency held two further rounds of negotiations on the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Directives in March.

Although decisions taken are not legally binding, they will serve as the basis for future legislative amendments, as significant progress has been made on many of the topics discussed.

In the context of the informal meeting, open political issues were in the focus of Bulgaria's efforts to find possible solutions and contribute to a compromise, that would guarantee ambitious energy and climate policies at European level.

This is a step further towards realizing the EU's ambitious targets for a low-carbon economy.

Bulgaria, for example, is affected by this process because three of the country's main coal-fired power plants in the Maritsa coal basin do not meet the first set criteria that will come into effect from 2019 on.

Thus, the country is negotiating a deferment until new rules apply.

With regard to the Regulation on the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators, the Presidency has prepared several revised proposals which have been discussed in recent weeks with Member States within the Energy Working Party.

The informal meeting of EU energy ministers in Sofia praised the progress achieved in the negotiations and outlined the next steps to the adoption of the legislative proposals of the "Clean Energy for All Europeans" package.... / IBNA

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